Pep Guardiola insists he will not be concerned if Manchester City fails to win a single title this season, adamant its last two campaigns should be considered "exceptions". City was beaten 3-2 away to Norwich City last time out in the Premier League, leaving the champion five points adrift of pacesetter Liverpool, which has won all five of its matches.
The Reds and City went the distance in the title race last term, with Guardiola's side ultimately lifting the trophy after accumulating 98 points, one more than its rival. Having dropped points in two matches already and suffered injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, Guardiola is tempering expectations of City in 2019-20.
He said in Friday's news conference: "I'm going to tell you something, we are not going to win the next 10 Premier Leagues in a row, not even the next one or the next four or five in a row, that is impossible, that is not going to happen.
"I'm not concerned about that, I am concerned for every single game to be close, close to who we are and our strong points, of which we have many, but you know if the people believe what Norwich has done, if they do it every time, they will beat us, so we will see if we can find a solution to it.
"With football, having the same players and what we did last season, maybe that won't work this season. One more year and different personal problems, maybe manager personal problems, everything influences the team.
"One little detail can have a big impact on the performance of the team and on players, so that's why it can happen. It is part of the process to lose games, it's a normality, it happens. The exceptions are what we have done two seasons ago and what Liverpool and Man City did last season, that is an exception, but the team will lose games."
"The problem is, know the reason why, or if you have figured out the reason why, try to find a solution for the next ones, so I'm not really concerned if we don't win any titles this year. I want to win again as much as possible with titles, but it's a different approach when I see my life, see my career, my profession, around the games like the people expect."
"So, when you hear 'they are invincible', 'they are the best team in the universe', or whatever, it seems bad, it's not true. I saw many good things against Norwich and I've seen many good things against Shakhtar Donetsk."
"In one game it was enough, another game it was not enough, but we are not going to win every game all the time, we are not going to win all the titles. No one can do that, Manchester City neither, so we will try. Did we try against Norwich? Of course we tried, we did not give up, we didn't say, 'we are going to lose'."
"That didn't happen, we tried and we tried and we tried. So hopefully, the last game of the season against Norwich here [the Etihad Stadium], we can think about it [the defeat to Norwich] and see if we can beat them, a little revenge to win the Premier League."
Left-back Benjamin Mendy is closing in on a return to fitness after he missed the majority of last season with a serious knee injury. And Guardiola is excited for the France international's comeback, convinced he will add another dimension to City's play.
"In the future he is going to play a little bit more regularly and try to understand what we want to do, because he has missed two seasons without training and the guy, to understand things, he has to practice," he said.
"Just for the videos, or just talking, he has to train and play and play and play and always we dreamed that he would be an incredibly important player for us.
"With him we can attack more constantly, he brings a special quality that only he has in our team, so with Oleksandr Zinchenko we cannot attack the wides and deep, but his qualities are completely different. With Mendy we can do that. Hopefully he can be fit, healthy and play."
City returns to Premier League action on Saturday when it hosts rock-bottom Watford.
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